Joe Cintron has a lot of friends willing to help him, but he needs a little extra right now. Cintron is reaching out through cyberspace on indiegogo.com, an online funding platform that lets users raise money for any campaign or personal project, to help him find funds to purchase a wheelchair van he direly needs.
According to Cintron's campaign page, the Norristown man has been in a wheelchair for the last 30 years. As a teenager, the student dreamed of college and a career in the NFL, but a tragic accident at a party in 1981 left him a C4-C5 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.
Since then, Cintron has lived with and been cared for by his mother, now 66 years old.
"She has literally made me her life," Cintron says on his page. "She washes me, feeds me, and exercises me. You name it, my (single parent) mother does it."
According to Cintron, as the years have passed, it's become increasingly dificult for his mother to lift him. That makes it hard for them to travel anywhere as they currently have a car that requires him to be lifted out his chair and carried (usually with the help of another family member or friend) into the vehicle.
That's where the indiegogo.com campaign comes in. Cintron is hoping that a Good Samaritan, or several, will donate money to help he and his mother purchase a wheelchair van with a lift. His goal is to raise $30,000 and he's already raised $1,650 from 23 donors with still 107 days to go in the campaign.
In a comment posted on the site, a donor identified only as Maria had this to say about Cintron:
"If anyone deserves help it’s Joe Cintron and his mom. They have become an inspiration to us all. There’s not a day that goes by that Joe isn’t smiling and thanking God for all of his blessings. During his journey where most of us would have given up, is where Joe draws his greatest strength. Joe has led an exemplary life maintaining an unwavering trust in our Lord. His natural capacity to love far exceeds the dimensions of his physical boundaries..."
If you'd like to help Cintron and his mother realize their goal, you can donate through his campaign site here or you can contribute a check at any Wells Fargo Bank to "Juanita Cintron/Van For Joey Cintron."
"If there are folks out there who have it in their power to help my mother and me," Citron says on the site, "we both would really appreciate it."